Plans for my day off yesterday included an excursion with my cousin Amy to parts of the "Quiet Corner" of Connecticut, or "The Last Green Valley" as it has also been called, in search of some foliage pictures. The area - over 1,080 square miles - lies within a Congressionally designated National Heritage Corridor along the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers and represents the remaining substantial greenbelt within the urban and suburban sprawl between Washington and Boston.
I had my fingers crossed that the weather was going to be nice for a change but alas, it was pretty darned chilly, windy, and overcast for most of the day though the sun did try to poke its head out a time or two while we were driving the back roads of Woodstock, Eastford, and Union. Before we got that far, though, I made a brief stop on my way to my cousin's house for some pictures along the banks of the Quinebaug River in Canterbury near Butts Bridge.
The current Butts Bridge was built in 1937 following several other bridges that had been built near the same spot starting way back in 1728 by two gentlemen from Plainfield, Canterbury's neighboring town to the east. That bridge was swept away in a freshet (a sudden overflow of a stream resulting from a heavy rain or a thaw) and in 1733 another bridge was built in the same place by Samuel Butts, a Canterbury resident. Several years later, that bridge was swept away by ice.
A third bridge was built in the same spot but it, too, was damaged in the Great Flood of 1867. In the picure above you can see a bit of the old abutments that are still standing just north of the current bridge. For all that the Quinebaug doesn't look like a mighty river, it has certainly done more than its fair share of damage and claimed a good number of lives over the years, too.
Despite the fact that we have had rain hand-over-fist this year, the waters of the Quinebaug are currently very low. When I took these pictures yesterday, I was standing along a bank that had been underwater in July when I took pictures in the same area. Click here for one of those pictures if you'd like to see the difference.
Butts Bridge was last renovated in 1988 and even though it looks like it could use a new coat of paint, I kind of like the rusted areas - it seems to add more character to what could be considered a rather ordinary bridge if one didn't have a slight inkling of what it took for a bridge to finally withstand the waters of the Quinebaug River in this area.
Even though I'm still working on my Gettysburg post (heard that one before, right?), I'll try to get some pictures of our drive yesterday posted soon, too. After all, just because you aren't in New England doens't mean you can't enjoy some of the New England foliage, right?!?